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Thursday, February 3, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 3 FEB 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of the Emmanuel Community, currently marking the twentieth anniversary of the death of their founder Pierre Goursat, the cause for whose beatification was opened last year.

  In his address to the group the Holy Father recalled other anniversaries due to fall in coming months: forty years since the foundation of the Emmanuel Community itself, the thirtieth anniversary of the community's NGO FIDESCO, and twenty years since the recognition of its statutes by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

  "The profound grace of your community arises from Eucharistic communion", he said. "This adoration leads to compassion for all human beings, and from this compassion comes the thirst to evangelise. In the spirit of your charism, I exhort you to develop your spiritual life, giving pride of place to the personal meeting with Christ, Emmanuel, God with us".

  "An authentically Eucharistic life is a missionary life", the Pope explained. "In a world often disoriented and in search for new reasons to live, the light of Christ must be brought to everyone. Among the men and women of today, be ardent missionaries of the Gospel, upheld by a life radically founded on Christ".

  "Today, the urgent need for this announcement is particularly felt in families, which are so often fragmented, in the young and in the intellectual world. Help to renew the apostolic dynamism of parishes from within, developing their spiritual and missionary impulses. I encourage you to be attentive to people who return to the Church and who have not had the benefit of a profound catechesis. Help them anchor their faith in an authentically theological, sacramental and ecclesial life".

  The Holy Father then went on to invite the community "to live in a state of genuine communion among its members. ... The community life you wish to foster, while respecting the life of each individual, will be a living witness for society of that fraternal love which must animate all human relationships. Fraternal communion is already an announcement of the new life that Christ came to establish", he said.

  "May this communion, which is not a form of closure, be effective also in local Churches. Each charism aims at the growth of the Body of Christ in its entirety and missionary action must, then, constantly adapt to the reality of the local Church, ever attentive to agreement and collaboration among pastors, under the authority of the bishop. Furthermore", the Pope concluded, "the mutual recognition of diversity of vocations in the Church, and their indispensable contribution to evangelisation, is an eloquent sign of the unity of Christ's disciples and of the credibility of their witness".
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